Over the years, Sherman has held numerous national and state appointments to boards and committees studying such topics as higher education (management effectiveness and financing), intergovernmental relations, mental health and mental retardation, hazardous waste management, infrastructure needs and financing, and energy and conservation.
At the Truman Foundation, Sherman is vice president. He is also a member of the Finalist Selection Committee and the chair of the Texas Scholar Selection Panel. He served as President of the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration in 1988-89, and served as President of the Austin Area Research Organization in 1998. From 1985 to 1998, he was a member of the National Committee on Innovations in State and Local Government for the Ford Foundation, and he served as Commissioner with the Government Ethics Center of the Josephson Institute of Ethics from 1989 to 1998.
Awards include Public Administration Educator of the Year for 2004 by the Centex Chapter of the American Society for Public Administration, Texan of the Year for 1999 by the Texas Legislative Conference, Austinite of the Year for 1997 by the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce, and Distinguished Alumnus for 1992 by Baylor University. During his tenure as State Senator, he was recognized by Texas Monthly in 1973, 1975, and 1977 as one of the ten best legislators; the magazine cited his integrity, intelligence, and "genuine sense of public service."